For Immediate Release on 18 May 2011 –

Tamils Remember Loved Ones Two Years On

The Australian Tamil community will be mourning the loss of their loved ones and their homeland today, on the second anniversary of the end of the war in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka's military campaign against the Tamil Tigers which came to a bloody end on 18 May 2009, took the lives of up to 100,000 Tamil civilians.

In April 2011, a report released by a UN Expert Advisory Panel found allegations of war crimes committed during the conflict in Sri Lanka to be credible, and called for an independent international investigation into war crimes in the island. Sri Lanka however has vehemently opposed such an investigation.

Despite their counterparts in other western nations welcoming the findings of the report and backing the Panel's recommendations, to date neither Prime Minister Julia Gillard nor Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd have commented on the report.

"Two years on, Mr. Rudd has not broken his silence on the issue of war crimes in Sri Lanka," says Dr Sam Pari, spokesperson for the Australian Tamil Congress. "With thousands of refugees from Sri Lanka arriving on our shores, he fails to realise that Sri Lanka's human rights abuses is affecting Australia too," she says.

Vigils and memorial events are planned in all major capital cities around Australia.

Media contact:

Dr. Sam Pari, Spokesperson, Australian Tamil Congress – 0433 428 967

Mr. Seran Sribalan, Australian Tamil activist – 0469 089 883